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Low self-esteem is a killer. It has affected people’s mindsets and life. The trajectory of one’s life can be determined by self-esteem. Self-esteem is defined as the opinion we have of ourselves. When we have high self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and life in general. It makes us better able to deal with life’s ups and downs. However, when our self-esteem is low, we often see ourselves and our lives in a more negative and severe light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us. To succinctly put, low self-esteem is a poor opinion of oneself. We all have times when we lack confidence and do not feel good about ourselves. 
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  • What Causes Low Self-esteem?

Low self-esteem is caused by both external and internal factors. Sometimes, low self-esteem could be traced to childhood experiences caused by teachers, friends, siblings, parents, and even the media. These agents send us positive and negative messages about ourselves. In this article, I discuss four ways to overcome low self-esteem. 
  • Identify Negative Beliefs

To increase your self-esteem, you need to specify the negative attitudes you have about yourself, and then work on them. For instance, you might have a negative notion about your skin colour, you need to look towards those within your race who are defying the odds and draw motivations from them. Furthermore, start to note these negative thoughts and write them on a piece of paper or in a diary. Ask yourself when you first started to think these thoughts. Subsequently, start writing some evidence that challenges these negative beliefs, such as, “I’m good at computer programming” in the case of your skin colour, and start identifying heroes that share the same traits with you. For example, you might think of yourself as disadvantaged because you’re Black, but the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and Oprah Winfrey can inspire hope in you.
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You can also write at least five positive things about yourself. It could be the skills you possess, your school grades, your talent, or your achievements.
  • Build Positive Relationships

Stay away from people that make you feel bad. Spend less time with people that tend to bring you down or simply point out their words or actions. However, the most important thing to do is to be in a community that helps you become yourself.  Try to build relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you. One of the ways to build positive relationships is to join a community of like minds, such as a book club, a yoga class, a church community, and so on.
  • Learn The Art Of Saying “No”

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People with low self-esteem often feel obligated to say yes to other people, even when they do not want to. The danger is that you become overburdened, resentful, hurtful, and depressed. The biggest thing about saying no is that it does not upset relationships. It can be helpful to keep saying no, but in different ways, until they get the message. 
  • Challenge Yourself 

Challenging yourself comes from within and it starts by doing little things with great courage. Little things such as joining a class, learning a new language, to bigger things such as getting a degree, building a business, and so on. There is a way new status affects one’s esteem. For example, you can learn French on YouTube and become good at it and apply for a translation job where you can get paid handsomely. People traditionally respect valuable people. Featured Image Source: Bold Nerds
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This article was first published on 30th April 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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